OPINION: A cross-media package is not always the best

Cross-media selling is certainly in vogue at the moment, and I’ve listened to several sales bosses who have sounded like excited kids in a sweet shop while describing the wonderful pick-and-mix media packages they can now put together.

Cross-media selling is certainly in vogue at the moment, and I’ve

listened to several sales bosses who have sounded like excited kids in a

sweet shop while describing the wonderful pick-and-mix media packages

they can now put together.



But before anyone gets carried away, it is worth taking a look at some

research commissioned recently by Carlton Media Sales. Using a sample of

150 media agency planners and buyers and 50 client advertisers, the

research examines how media sales services and initiatives are received

by their target audience.



Ten media owners are rated in terms of buyers’ familiarity with their

offerings and satisfaction with their service levels. All very

interesting stuff - although Carlton’s impressive showing under both

criteria will doubtless prompt some carping from jealous rivals about

the validity of the data.



Still, it looks a professional piece of work and all media owners could

benefit from a glance at the section that examines which ’key

capabilities’ the buyers are looking for from their media sales

contacts.



Anyone who reads our ’How to Sell to ...’ column on a regular basis will

not be surprised to learn that planner/buyers consider ’knowledge of

products and services’ to be the most important attribute of any sales

operation.



They also think it crucial the sales teams are ’authoritative and know

their market’ and are able to ’deliver agreements effectively’.



Far less important to the agency folk is a media owner’s reputation as

an innovator or its ability to be ’exciting and interesting to deal

with’. This is proof, if any were needed, that you don’t have to have

done a bungee jump on LSD at the weekend to flog a spot on Monday

morning.



But the most interesting finding of all was that agency staff consider a

media owner’s least important attribute - yes, below even the ’being

interesting’ quotient - is its ’involvement in a greater breadth of

media market activities’.



Another way of interpreting all this is that agencies and clients are

not yet bothered about picking up cross-media deals - they are far more

concerned that each medium does its job and does it well.



That is not to say that there is no place for a cross-media package.



Where the package is genuinely creative and enables the client to put

together a cleverly integrated campaign - I cannot get Nike’s recent

’GeoForce’ football campaign out of my mind - it can prove invaluable.

But I wonder whether whole new departments and sales restructures are

needed in order to produce these one-off spectaculars.



The Carlton research suggests it is vital that media owners do not

neglect core products, however exciting the prospect of a cross-media

package may be.



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